It's been nearly impossible to keep track of all the ways the pandemic has affected our grocery supply chain. From shortages of basic necessities like toilet paper and flour, to disappearing bulk discounts and prices that have risen sharply in the first half of the year, the pandemic has hurt our shopping habits and our budgets in several ways. (And if we had to venture a guess, we'd say these 8 Grocery Items May Soon Be in Short Supply Again.)
But with the supply of highly sought-after items finally back to normal, grocery prices have started leveling off, too. Some particularly good news going into the fall months comes from the meat aisle. According to an article published by The Wall Street Journal, not only is the meat supply finally back on track, but meat prices are seeing some record lows for the year.
Grocery stores, like the Midwestern grocer B&R, are now discounting ground beef which used to be under purchase limits in the spring, while meat producer SpartanNash is offering discounts on ribs and sirloin steak, which are trickling down to your grocery aisles.
Some meats are actually cheaper now than they were before the pandemic hit. In the first week of September, prices of prime rib steak were down by 11% compared to the beginning of the year. New York strip steak prices were down by 8%, and beef brisket was almost 20% cheaper than in January.
The reason behind this is the increase in meat production, which has rebounded from COVID-19–related workforce shortages, coupled with a lower demand due to closed restaurants.
Chicken prices are dropping too, due to fewer exports of domestically produced meat to countries like China. One particular cut that may be worth stocking up on is chicken leg quarter—its price is currently 40% lower compared to 2019. B&R grocery stores are selling them at a discount along with chicken breasts. And according to Nielsen data, chicken wings, which have exploded in popularity at fast food chains this year, are cheaper than they were pre-pandemic.
While this isn't great news for the meat industry, which is dealing with oversupply and traditionally low prices of livestock and poultry, it's certainly good news for your wallet.
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